Leading article: Ship shape

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Greenpeace's latest Rainbow Warrior differs dramatically from her two previous incarnations. The first boat (sunk by the French secret services) was a modified trawler. The second was a re-fitted schooner. But Rainbow Warrior III , which will take to the seas later this year, is a £20m custom-built mega-yacht, complete with helicopter pad, secure communications room and the latest electronic navigation equipment.

Some have suggested that it is more like the vessel of a James Bond villain than that of an environmental protest organisation. But why should the bad guys have all the best kit? If Rainbow Warrior III is going to lead new protests against illegal logging, fishing and whaling it needs to be able to keep up.

The name of the original Greenpeace vesselwas inspired by this Native American prophecy: "There will come a time when the Earth grows sick and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world who believe in deeds and not words. They will work to heal it ... they will be known as the warriors of the rainbow."

Yes there is no mention of helicopter pads, communication rooms or state-of-the-art navigation equipment. But the prophecy doesn't mention anything about the rainbow warriors being raggedy either.